Date palm and its traditions listed as UNESCO World Heritage

14 Arab countries obtained the recognition

12 December, 16:25

    (ANSAmed) - TUNIS, DECEMBER 12 - The UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which is meeting in Bogotà, Colombia, has added the date palm to its list of intangible cultural heritage along with the knowledge, skills, traditions and practices associated with the date palm.

    The recognition goes to 14 Arab countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

    "The date palm has been connected to the regional population of the submitting States for centuries, serving both as the source of numerous associated crafts, professions and social and cultural traditions, customs and practices, and as a key form of nutrition," said UNESCO on its website.

    The date palm is an evergreen plant typically associated with dry climates, where the roots of the plant penetrate deeply into the earth in search of humidity. The professions involved include farmers who plant, nurture and irrigate the date palm offshoots; farm owners; harvesters; transporters; craftspeople who produce traditional products using various parts of the palm tree; date traders; creative individuals and performers of associated folkloric tales and poems. "The date palm, knowledge, skills, traditions and practices have played a pivotal role in strengthening the connection between people and the land in the Arab region, helping them face the challenges of the harsh desert environment," UNESCO said on its website. "This historic relationship in the region and the element has produced a rich cultural heritage of related practices between people in the region, knowledge and skills maintained to this day. The cultural relevance and proliferation of the element over the centuries prove how committed the local communities are to sustaining it".

    The Italian Embassy in Tunisia congratulated that country for its recognition on the list.

    "Italy has always believed in, supported the economy of and the artistic traditions of the oases," said the Italian Embassy in Tunisia on Twitter.

    Currently the Italian Ambassador to Tunisia Lorenzo Fanara, together with a delegation from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, is working on an institutional mission in southern Tunisia to "support Tunisian oases, fight desertification, and facilitate development" as well as support administrative decentralisation, new investments, and tourism for sustainable development.(ANSAmed).

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